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7 January 2015, 15:40 | Updated: 7 January 2015, 15:42
A majority of Church of Scotland presbyteries have backed the appointment of gay ministers.
The Kirk said 32 of 45 voted in favour of proposals to allow ministers and deacons who are in a civil partnership to apply for vacant posts.
The final decision will be taken at May's General Assembly in Edinburgh.
A total of 1,391 presbytery members voted in favour and 1,153 against, resulting in a 54.6%/45.4% split.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling presbyteries backed the proposals.
Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Inverness were among those that voted against.
The ordaining of ministers in same-sex relationships has divided the Church since traditionalist members attempted to block the appointment of Reverend Scott Rennie, who is gay, in Aberdeen in 2009.
The Assembly voted in support of Mr Rennie but introduced an interim ban on ordaining other gay ministers until a special commission had studied the matter.
The ban was lifted in 2011 when commissioners agreed to consider the subject again.
A number of congregations have left the Church over the issue.